Sunday, January 2, 2011


That's right! I am making a CRAZY CHANGE as the New Year begins, and it totally involves my eating habits! I am a lover of ALL foods, ANY nationality, ANY course... from salads to dinner to desserts. I enjoy trying new things and usually love it all! Indian, Mexican, Italian, Thai, Seafood, you name it, there are very few things I don't simply love.

When I turned 40, and stepped onto the scale, I was reminded of the comedian Vicki Lawrence's quote: "after 40 everything heads south for the winter"! I looked at the scale and thought to myself, I shall not descend to the south except in the proximity of where I live. Therefore, a change in diet is in order. Thank goodness a blessing in disguise named "GWEN" has come along to encourage, cajole, and all but cook a Vegan meal for me! Love you Gwen! Seriously, I believe people are put into your lives for a reason, and along comes a new friend to advise, guide and give direction in the way of healthy eating... and she used the magic words, "YOU'LL FEEL SO SKINNY"! Well hop down, that was all I needed to hear!

So with my friends guidance, a list of stores to find the correct ingredients, and some recipes to boot, I have ventured out into the Vegan lifestyle. I went to Publix for a few items today, and felt like a kid in a candy shoppe, yet in reality I was simply an adult in a health food aisle... how IRONIC! I had so much fun pouring over foods that would be healthier for me, and with relish, I picked my breads, my fruits and veggies, and my TOFU! Now I have to admit, that the word TOFU simply intimidates me... but then the words, "You'll feel SO skinny' popped back in my mind, and my ego overruled my intimidation, and I placed TOFU in my cart with confidence and relish.

It is impossible for me to do anything half way or haphazardly! If I am going to do something, I am going to do it with gusto, excitement, and raw determination. SO, I came home armed with my ingredients, and prepared to fool my family into 'thinking' they were eating a fat ridden, meat laden, greasy chili... But I giggled as I chopped my onions, added my peppers, and 3... 3 DIFFERENT kinds of beans. I rubbed my hands together with a gleam in my eye as i added tomatoes and spices galore... and as it simmered, I snickered as they kept asking how soon it would be ready! They are eating as I type, and as of yet, I have heard no complaints. Little do they know that they are guinea pigs in my diabolical plan of turning myself and them into a healthier happier family!

I've have already tasted, and tested, and given a 5 star rating to this recipe, and I can say, with the enthusiasm that usually pours out of me, I am EXCITED about eating healthier in 2011! Now you may say, "HOW is that part of her crazy life?" It is crazy because, I am so busy that dinner has to be easy, fast and quick to prepare. BUT I say to you, "HEY I AM CRAZY"... I am willing to give it a shot! I am insane enough to try something new if it means a healthier happier me! I am willing to invest the time and effort into cooking a meal that will be good for my family! AND, I invite you along for the ride. So with that said, I will post my "VEGAN CHILI" recipe, tweaked here and there with a few more herbs and spices and a few more tomatoes! Try it! I dare you. YOU NEVER KNOW! You just might like it!

And AHA! The verdict is in, hubby and kids could NOT believe there was no meat, and that it was a VEGAN dish! Their exact words in describing the chili.... "I NEVER would have known it was vegan if you had not told me." So, as I rap up this blog, and pat myself on the back, I hope that you will find ways to make your year a healthier year! You never know where a walk down the health food aisle in Publix may take YOU!



Patti's Vegan Chili:

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

2 cups chopped onion

1 chopped green pepper

1 chopped yellow pepper

2 garlic cloves minced

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp. chili powder

1 package. McCormick Chili seasoning

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. pepper

2 (28 oz.) crushed tomato

1 cup tomato juice (leave this out if you want less liquid)

2 (16 oz.) cans black beans rinsed and drained

1 (15 oz.) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained


Heat oil in large pot. Add onions, peppers, and garlic; saute 5 minutes or until tender. Add sugar and remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Serve in a bowl and WAIT! Just wait, and soon you will hear the sighs of contentment and the gasps of surprise as you tell them... YOU ARE EATING VEGAN!

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